Since being elected to the Victorian Parliament in 2014, Suzanna has been a strong and successful advocate for the Shepparton District, helping the community attract a record investment in regional infrastructure – more than $600 million and counting.
For years our community’s transport needs were ignored, but no more. In 2017, $43.5 million was committed for initial track upgrades that are now underway to deliver a fifth daily return service by early 2019.
In 2019 $313 million was committed and we now have a faster, better and more frequent services. The Victorian Government announced in November 2020 a further $80m to continue the works already being undertaken to allow trains to travel up to 130km/h and enable nine return services between Shepparton and Melbourne every weekday.
Construction has already begun on Stage One of Goulburn Valley Health’s redevelopment which will include a new emergency department to double the current capacity, a women and children’s precinct, an expanded dialysis patients unit, 64 inpatient and 10 intensive care unit beds.
Our advocacy is now focused on securing funding for Stage Two of works at the hospital, which we hope will include much-needed radiotherapy services and a specialised mental health facility.
After extensive consultation with the community, we have secured funds to start building a new combined secondary school for Shepparton and Mooroopna that will increase curriculum offerings, industry connections and improve further educational opportunities for our young people.
It will also provide for an Integrated Children’s Centre in Mooroopna as we work towards getting further funds committed to address the challenges faced by primary school students and children in their early years.
In the past two years we have secured $10.2m to begin planning for a long-overdue Shepparton Bypass road and to fund some initial works, as well as $20m for safety upgrades to two major roundabouts along the Shepparton Alternate Route.
Our advocacy is now focused on achieving the next tranches of funding to keep these important infrastructure projects moving and to minimise heavy vehicle traffic through the centre of town.
In 2018, money was committed towards the construction of a state-of-the-art educational, sporting, cultural and community centre for our Aboriginal communities.
This project has been spear-headed by local Yorta Yorta elder Paul Briggs AO and will be not only a drawcard to the area but also a showpiece in regional Australia.
Our popular Shepparton Art Museum will be re-located to the foreshore of Victoria Park Lake, thanks to a joint funding venture between the Victorian Government, Greater Shepparton City Council and the Federal Government.
The new and improved SAM will showcase unique ceramics, indigenous and multicultural collections to hordes of visitors, while construction of the project will create 72 direct and 109 indirect jobs, injecting an estimated $34.5 million into the local economy.